As winter lingers and snow showcases a white crystalline landscape all around me, I become mindful of waiting. Some of my midwest friends are sick of winter and others are taking a midnight walk to enjoy the snowy magnificence that has enveloped us. Some are counting the days until spring and others refuse to wait and have hopped a plane to escape the polar vortex that has gripped us this season. Looking out the window on a sun soaked morning, the snow has encased our backyard. I reach for my coffee cup and click on the Olympics, where an athlete is about to start their race. The clock ticks down and finally, their personal wait is over. Yes, waiting is just part of living. Waiting is part of our preparation time. There are so many times in our lives where waiting creates anxiety or prepares us for the future. It is all about how we interpret the runway.
When one is waiting for test results or left outside an operating room in an emergency situation, waiting resembles some sort of hell – a separation from those we love or from information that might give us solace. But waiting can be a wonderful part of preparation. In a world of immediate gratification, waiting gives us time to prepare. Watching the athletes at Sochi just before their race or event starts, I can feel the tension that waiting creates. I’ve been there. Once the event starts, the wait is over and it’s all you and how well you prepared. The gift is in the waiting if you let it be; the journey is in the preparation.
And so, I now begin my preparations and waiting for a new adventure ahead. My husband and I are headed to Spain to walk the el Camino de Santiago, the Way of St. James later this spring. Our waiting is composed of preparation and distance walking training. I experience a walking rigor to prepare for the Avon Walk two years ago for pink and personal rehabilitative purpose; now I share that waiting with my husband as we are counting down towards thirty years of marriage. We are pilgrims still on the journey, together.
What are you waiting for? And how can you make the wait part of your journey?
May your wait be spiritual and not painful, may your wait make you mindful and more prepared. Find your wait purpose and use that to be stronger. Don’t waste the wait, it is a gift unto itself.